Biodegradable and Compostable

What’s the difference between biodegradable and compostable? The major difference is biodegradable materials take an undetermined time to break down, which can be months, years, or even centuries. Compostable materials decompose into natural, nutrient-rich products at a much faster rate.

what does biodegradable mean?

Biodegradable refers to material that breaks down into organic elements, carbon dioxide, and water vapor by organisms like bacteria and fungi through a process called biodegradation.

what does compostable mean?

Compostable products and packaging break down into carbon dioxide, water, and biomass at the same rate as natural materials. When properly collected and processed, we can use these materials for fertilizers that improve soil quality.

what happens during decomposition?

There are two types of microorganism degradation: aerobic and anaerobic. In landfills, biodegradable products often get buried along with other trash. Due to a lack of oxygen, beneficial bacteria cannot survive. The biodegradable products break down through anaerobic digestion, producing methane. High levels of methane can reduce the amount of oxygen in the air. It also affects the earth’s temperature and climate system.

in simple words

Everything that is compostable is biodegradable. But biodegradable does not always mean compostable. 


How should I dispose of biodegradable products? The landfill is your best bet, but I would say we should aim to use reusable items as much as possible!

How should I dispose of compostable products? Throw them in a compost heap. If one isn't available in your area, you can make one at home!

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